Union Pacific's Great Excursion Adventure

“In brightest day, in blackest night…”

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"In brightest day, in blackest night..."

Friday – 23 December 2016
There are many things that make for a “good day.” The fact that today is Christmas Eve Eve is one. The fact that our office is closed – meaning a long weekend – is another. Other things include, but are not limited to:

  • Coffee. (If I have to explain this one, we may need to reevaluate our friendship…)
    • Making a new #morningcoffee post with The Incredibles.
  • Sleeping in – technically “going back to bed after Sara and Team DiVa headed out for the day,” but you get the gist.
  • Chatting with friends and family.
  • Reading comics.

I’ll even throw “going to the gym” (happening shortly) in there, too.

But, one of the other things that made to day really stand out was receiving an email. More specifically, receiving an email saying that I was having a package delivered. After all, who doesn’t like getting packages? And, especially at Christmastime? Turns out the package was from Sideshow Collectibles. Let me backtrack a bit…

::: Scooby Doo flashback wavy lines :::

Last month, Sideshow tweeted about a contest they were having:

Seemed simple and reasonable enough: Make a board, throw pins on it, hope to win something. And that’s exactly what I did – I selected nineteen figures and statues and cast my lot to the wind. Granted, they have “a few thousand” followers on Pinterest, so I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it. Fast forward last Friday, I received this message

Hi Rob! We’d like to fulfill your wish for a Green Lantern Sixth Scale figure. Email [redacted] to claim your wish. Happy holidays!

Anyone who has known me for more than about six minutes knows that I’m “a bit” of a Green Lantern fan. Sure, I’m more John Stewart than Hal Jordan these days, but Hal is the GL I grew up with and I have absolutely nothing against him. And there’s that whole “gift horses” thing, too.

I replied to the message and waited. There was a snafu with email, checking to find out what information they needed to ship it, which wasn’t resolved until earlier this week. Given that and knowing what I do about shipping packages around the holidays, I wasn’t sure when it would show up.

::: end flashback :::

A little after 11:30, the doorbell rang. It was my friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man UPS driver. Lo and behold, he had the box from Sideshow. I grinned like a fiend, signed, and thanked him. (I do not recall if there was a “My precious….” in there or not. I hope not, as that would be more-than-slightly embarrassing…) I brought the box downstairs, opened it, and this is what was inside:

Let’s just say that my day and Christmas weekend has gotten off to a great start and many thanks to Sideshow Collectibles.

Okay, enough lollygagging. Time to get right on to the friction of the day…


Hello, Monday. We meet again…

cyberpunk/steampunk, dining and cuisine, everyday glory, family and friends, games, geekery, house and home, LEGO and Rokenbok, movies and TV, music, news and info, science and technology, style and fashion, the best, workout No Comments »
Hello, Monday. We meet again...

Monday – 14 June 2010
Today is Flag Day.

What?!  There’s a flag in the picture!  Yes, it is a CoH picture. That’s more of a “Win-Win,” if you ask me.

It’s also my friend, Keith’s, birthday.

And, as it’s Monday morning, let’s have a little somethin’ to kick off the day with a groove. Today’s offering is Maxwell’s Gotta Get: Closer

To paraphrase Ice Cube, yesterday was a good day:

  • SaraRules got back from the City of Lost Angels.
  • I finished the painting of the family room; we still need to figure out what we want to use for a trim color, but the main job is ovah!
  • We saw The A-Team.
  • We had dinner with Jana, OnlyAly and .

Saturday’s step count: 4443 steps
Sunday’s count: 1332 steps (official count… because I didn’t put on the pedometer until 4 PM)

The Best: Closer vs. Gotta Get: Closer
Nine Inch Nails vs. Maxwell

Given this morning’s bit of musical oleo, I was reminded that I like both versions of the song. That, in turn, made me think that I should do a juxtaposition and see which version edges out the other for the title “The Best.”

  • Nine Inch Nails:

    Let’s just call a spade “a spade:” This song is just straight-up sex. There’s no question about what’s on Trent’s mind. In fact, he tells you. Bluntly. More than once. Let it never be said that the man doesn’t know how to convey what he’s thinking.

  • Maxwell:
    (see video at top of post)

    What I like about this version is that Maxwell took the song and put his on spin on it. Yes, I can hear purists saying: “But, it’s not the same!”  No, it’s not. To me, that’s the essence of what makes an artist’s cover of a song a “good” cover: Being able to put their own unique stamp on it. Where NIN’s version is blatant and raw, Maxwell’s version is more… seductive, with a groove to it. To put it another way: Nine Inch Nails’ take is raw and rough sex, whereas Maxwell wants to take his time and enjoy the mood and the moment.

    • A similar example of “same brand, different flavor” along these lines can be found in another pair of songs that were released around the same time: Color Me Badd’s I Wanna Sex You Up and Extreme’s More than Words.

So, which version is “The Best?”

For me, it’s a tie. Why? Because each song holds its own for the mood that the artist is trying to convey. It’s a “Neither is ‘wrong’ and everybody wins” kind of situation.

Stray Toasters

And with that… on to the rest of the day.


“Style kills.”

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"Style kills."

Friday – 21 August 2009
Waking up this morning was something of a chore. I think that my first alarm went off for about 15 or 20 seconds before my brain found a couple of brain cells to rub together and come up with “a clue” as to what it was and what to do about it. Then, I went back to sleep.

The second alarm, the one I had to get out of bed to deal with, went a little better. I got up, turned it off and plopped down on the sofa for a few. Motivation to start the day, however, was still close to nil. Fifteen or so minutes later, I managed to pry myself from the comfort of the couch and begin the morning preparation rituals.

Last night saw the premiere of Project Runway on Lifetime. This made for a very happy SaraRules, as it wasn’t just Project Runway, it was a trio of shows:

  1. Project Runway All-Star Challenge
  2. Project Runway (Season Six Premiere)
  3. Models of the Runway (Series Premiere)

Yes, a happy SaraRules, indeed. And, in a surprise turn of events, the person we both liked the least on Project Runway was the first one voted off the show.

While she watched the shows, I worked on interior props for my ‘Clix house. So far, the bathrooms are done – sink, tub and toilet in one; sink and toilet in the other. Now, I need to do beds and dressers for the bedrooms and some living room and kitchen furniture, too.

Stray Toasters


“All we hear is radio ga-ga…”

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"All we hear is radio ga-ga..."

Sunday – 05 July 2009
Yesterday was another mostly lazy day in the valley. I slept in (a little) and then made my way into the living room, where I started reading American Psycho. I’m only 20 or so pages in, but I’m enjoying it so far. After SaraRules woke up, we had breakfast and headed to the gym:

  • Leg Extensions: 3 sets/10 reps, 60 lbs
  • Leg Raises: 3 sets/10 reps, 60 lbs
  • Glutes (Kick-backs): 3 sets/10 reps, 70 lbs
  • Flys: 3 sets/10 reps, 110 lbs
  • Lower Back Extensions: 3 sets/15 reps, 160 lbs
  • Lat Pull-downs: 3 sets/10 reps, 110 lbs
  • Forward Lat Raises (w/ rotation to the side): 3 sets/10 reps, 15 lbs
  • Curls (dumbbell): 3 sets/10 reps, 30 lbs
  • Sit-ups (decline): 3 sets/15 reps

On the way home, we stopped at SaraRules’ parents’ so that she could get a recipe for coffee cake. (More on this below.) We had a lazy aftenoon. For dinner, we headed to Outback Steakhouse – I had been craving Aussie Cheese Fries and decided to fulfill that desire. They – and the rest of dinner (prime rib, salad, baked potato) – were just what the doctor ordered.

We headed up to Eastwood Elementary School to watch the Sugar House Park fireworks display. When we returned home, SaraRules put in Clash by Night, featuring a pre-The Big Valley Barbara Stanwyck as well as Marilyn Monroe.  I was distracted/put off by some of the storyline, but it was a decent movie.

I’m not sure what I want to do today. I have an option on playing ‘Clix with Chris and , but I’m not sure that I’m in the mood for it. (I know…!) I wouldn’t mind playing a little City, either. Or even Marvel Ultimate Alliance. And there are a couple of new ‘Clix building designs running through my head that I need to get onto paper, too.

The Best: The Man Who Sold the World
David Bowie vs. Nirvana vs. Lulu

David Bowie released this song in 1970. And it was good.
Lulu, possibly best known in the States for To Sir, With Love, did a cover in 1974.
Nirvana, a band I’ve never really been a fan of, covered the song in 1993.

I’ve liked the Bowie version since I first heard it, many moons ago.
I thought that the Nirvana cover was… decent, but didn’t really do anything “different” to put their own spin on it.
I heard the Lulu version yesterday, for the first time.

My rankings for the versions:

  1. David Bowie
  2. Nirvana (I know, this surprises me, too.)
  3. Lulu

Stray Toasters


“But we’re never gonna survive… unless we get a little crazy.”

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"But we're never gonna survive... unless we get a little crazy."

Tuesday – 09 June 2009
Last night, we went to dinner at Tandoor Indian Grill for ‘s birthday. It’s a nice place, with good food and decent prices. I had the Tandoori Chicken and was not disappointed. After dinner, we headed back to SaraRules’ parents’ house for dessert. (Back-to-back days with birthday cake == good.) After dessert, SaraRules, , Logan and I played a couple of games of Bocce.

When I got home, I wrestled with the smoke alarm and changed its battery. Then, all I wanted to do was sprawl on the couch… and I did. I was so tired that I started nodding off watching Jonny Quest. I made it through Letterman’s monologue, but decided that I needed sleep more than I needed entertainment; I was in bed before 2300.

I slept much better last night than Sunday night… but I had a series of odd dreams. Nothing horribly “disturbing,” but they were unusual combinations.

The Best: Crazy
Seal vs. Alanis Morrisette

For the past week or so, I’ve been trying to recall who did the cover of Seal’s Crazy that had been at the edges of my memory. I was fairly certain that it was Alanis Morrisette, but I wasn’t positive. Yesterday, I finally remembered to look it up… and it was, in fact, Ms. Morrisette. With that, I checked out the music video for her version. Not bad. Then, I checked out the Seal version. Again, not bad.


Crazy – Seal


Alanis Morissette Crazy

The Verdict: This one comes down to a draw for me, with a possible edge going to Seal.  While the Alanis version is good, it might have been more interesting to hear what she might have done had she put more of her own spin on it.

Stray Toasters


“…to pass the evening with drink and a friend.”

engagement/wedding/marriage, everyday glory, family and friends, football, geekery, music, news and info, office antics, science and technology, the best No Comments »
"...to pass the evening with drink and a friend."

Tuesday – 24 March 2009
After work, SaraRules and I went to visit . After that, we had dinner with and (I know!), who is on her way to California. told us about her trip to Africa, some of the people she met and the things she experienced; it sounded like an amazing adventure. I believe that we’re in for quite the slideshow when she comes back from California. And… she also hinted that she had some ring designs to show us, as well.

The Best: A Whiter Shade of Pale
Procol Harum vs. Annie Lennox vs. Sarah Brightman

I’ve been a fan of this song for… so long that I don’t even remember how long it’s been. Yeah, that long. I’m good with all three of the versions that I have, but there are distinctions:

  • The Procol Harum version, the original, is… just… classic. I love the sound of the Hammond organ in this. And, Gary Brooker’s vocals sound like someone recounting a strange tale over a drink in a bar or in someone’s sitting room.
  • As rich and nearly melancholy as the Procol Harum version is, the Annie Lennox version is… almost spartan in its synthesized sound. Parts of the arrangement are rather evocative of a music box, even. Ms. Lennox’ mellow contralto vocals provide a nice counterpoint to the synth sound.
  • The Sarah Brightman version is… over-orchestrated. This isn’t to say that it’s a poor arrangement – it is rather well-done. (Although, and I just noticed this: It sounds like something that I’d expect to hear on a CD from Enigma.) Ms. Brightman’s soft (though strong) soprano vocals come off a bit ethereal… which works well with the arrangement, but still leaves me wanting a little something more.

So, for my taste, it shakes out like this:

  1. Procol Harum
  2. Annie Lennox
  3. Sarah Brightman

Stray Toasters

Unintentional Porn Overheard at Work
Part of our office is undergoing a remodel. We have electricians here today and, a few minutes ago, I was treated to the following:

Jr. Electrician: What’s going on?
Sr. Electrician: Just trying to get this 3″ in here…


Sr. Electrician: We ever gonna get this up?
(Talking about running some conduit in the ceiling)

Yep, just another fun-filled day…


“A is for Apples, J is for Jack, P is for Funk, that’s right, it’s back on track…”

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"A is for Apples, J is for Jack, P is for Funk, that's right, it's back on track..."

Wednesday – 08 Oct 2008
Middle of the week and all’s well. In the words of the Dave Matthews’ Band, So Much to Say, so let’s get it started…

SaraRules came over after work last night. We ran a couple of errands, including picking up a barbecue chicken pizza from Papa Murphy’s and headed back to my place. We watched Senators Obama and McCain in the second presidential debate. Again, I’m not really sure that either candidate “won” the debate, but if I had to pick a winner, I’d have to go with…

Tom Brokaw.

That’s right: Tom Brokaw, the moderator. Why? He had the best lines – including a couple of snarky jabs at the candidates for not sticking to the agreed format.

After the debacle debate, we headed to the gym. Lo and behold, I still remember how to workout! Unglaublich! SaraRules did cardio; I headed to the machines and free weights:

  • Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets @ 100 lbs
  • Close-grip pulldowns: 3 sets @ 80 lbs
  • Reverse Flys: 3 sets, 1 set @ 60 lbs, 2 sets @ 50 lbs
  • Overhead tricep extensions (dumbbell): 3 sets @ 40 lbs
  • Side Bends: 3 sets, 25 lbs dumbbells
  • Tricep Extenstions (T-Bar): 3 sets, 80 lbs
  • Core: 2 sets, 45 seconds

I neglected to weigh myself pre- or post-workout. Oh, well.

We headed back to my place to catch David Letterman’s monologue and Top 10 List before she headed home. She made the comment that it seems like he’s got “…a personal vendetta” against Senator McCain and that it’s rather amusing to see what he’s going to say/do next. She’s right.

The Best: Rocket Man
I think that I first became aware of this song when it appeared on The Greatest American Hero, many moons ago. Since then, it’s been a favorite.

I apparently have four versions of it in iTunes:

  1. Elton John – the classic, original version
  2. Kate Bush – a synth and bass-rich version, from the “Two Rooms” tribute CD
  3. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – a punk cover
  4. Jamie Cullum – a jazzy piano take on the song.

If I had to rate my favorites, it’d go in this order:

  1. Elton John
  2. Jamie Cullum
  3. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
  4. Kate Bush

The rationale (as much as there is for it) is as follows: The Elton John version is, like I said classic. To me, it reminds me a bit of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, in that its protagonist simply seems… resigned to his fate and is trying to make the best of his situation. The Jamie Cullum version seems to put a different, more upbeat spin on it: Here’s a guy who has a secret (I’m not the man they think I am at home…), but is fine with it and he gets to see all kinds of things that no one else gets to see or do. He doesn’t come off as resigned, but kind of “Wow, too bad you guys can’t be here to check this out.” The Me First version is just… frenetic and fun and full of energy. And the Kate Bush version is… Kate Bush. *shrug*

Stray Toasters

And now, meeting time!


“Toora loora toora loo rye ay”

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"Toora loora toora loo rye ay"

It’s time for another round of “The Best.”

Today’s song: Come On Eileen
Bands: Dexy’s Midnight Runners vs. Save Ferris

The song first hit the airwaves in 1982 and was a rather popular dance song. It spent four weeks at #1 on the UK charts in August of 1982. While Dexy’s Midnight Runners had other hit songs in the UK, Come On Eileen was their only hit in the U.S.

The song was covered by Save Ferris in 1997, on their CD, It Means Everything, receieving an up-tempo ska makeover, replacing the strings with a horn line.

For those who need an audio-visual reminder of either (or both) version(s) of the song:

  • Dexy’s Midnight Runners

  • Save Ferris

For me, the more upbeat, ska-laced Save Ferris version wins out over the Dexy’s Midnight Runners version.

Winner: Save Ferris

“Who wants to live forever?”

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"Who wants to live forever?"

I just discovered that I have a cover of this song, done by Sarah Brightman, in my collection of mp3s. Therefore, it’s time for another round of “The Best.”

The Best: Who Wants to Live Forever?
Queen vs. Sarah Brightman

  • Queen: Their version is a bit… rough… and sounds almost plaintive, at points. And, as seen in Highlander, it evokes images of a man who realizes that he is going to outlive everything and everyone he loves.

    Sarah Brightman: Her rendition sounds somewhat… ethereal. It sounds less like a love song than… I don’t know… an angel speaking to her charge and trying to make him or her realize that their infatuation with a short-lived mortal is futile. It sounds more “Accept this as a matter of fact” than “I understand that your heart is breaking.”

    Winner: Queen

  • Queen: Brian May’s guitar, cutting across the orchestration (3:18)
    Sarah Brightman: Trumpet fanfare (3:10)

    Winner: Queen

  • Queen: Not the most attractive bunch of blokes.
    Sarah Brightman: Much easier on the eyes.

    Winner: Sarah Brightman

In all seriousness, the Sarah Brightman version is a good song, on its own merits, but for me, it doesn’t stand up against the Queen version.

Winner: Queen

“There’s always room for Jell-O!”

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"There's always room for Jell-O!"

Friday – 06 June 2008
This morning started off with the alarm going off… and me waking up with a headache. I didn’t consider that the most auspicious start to a Friday morning, so I stayed in bed for a bit. I should have gotten up then, because I wound up in an odd, rather disturbing corner of The Dreaming.

The second go-round of waking up went considerably better. I hit B&B for a large cup of frozen, triple-shotted goodness and Einstein Bros. for a bagel sandwich. Add to that having some decent commuting tunes and Bob’s your uncle, as the saying goes.

The Best: Sugar Sugar
The Archies vs. Mary Lou Lord (with Semisonic)

This song was originally done by The Archies in 1969.
It was covered by Mary Lou Lord in 1995 for Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits.

It’s a bubblegum pop song at heart – and one that I’ve liked since I was a kid – but the edge that Ms. Lord gives it, pushes it ahead of the original in my book.

Winner: Mary Lou Lord

Stray Toasters

  • Would LeVar Burton have had Windows Server 2003 books on Reading Rainbow? Should he have added them to the line-up?
  • Cosby sweaters for auction
    I just want to know if you get Jell-O Pudding Pops and/or a TI-99/4A with each sweater?
  • Jon Favreau on Iron Man 2 and Beyond
  • Would X-Men: The Last Stand have been a better movie had Jon Favreau been the director, rather than Brett Ratner?
  • All we hear is…

  • New club drug: Preparation H?
  • They were singing
    Back to back
    Belly to belly
    I don’t give a damn, ’cause I’m stone dead already
    Back to back
    Belly to belly
    A zombie jamboree
  • Speaking of zombies: Blog Like It’s the End of the World Day is coming up next Friday.


“No more kings…”

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"No more kings..."

Tuesday – 29 January 2008
Last night, after the ordeal of the afternoon commute – it took about 75 minutes to get from AF to SLC – thanks to post-storm, near-whiteout conditions – and finishing out my day I went home and watched the State of the Union address. I had a few things go through my mind as I was watching:

  1. When GW turned his head a certain way, he reminded me of Johnny Carson.
  2. I don’t get why the Peanut Gallery Congress feels the urge/need to give a standing ovation for some of the most mundane bullet point items in a speech. It reminded me more of a pep rally than a presidential speech when they did it… even though I’ve seen it many times before.
  3. I wound up watching the C-Span broadcast, because I got tired of the way the networks would always try to find Senator X, Y or Z for a “reaction shot” whenever GW was applauded for a particular note – especially Senators Obama and Clinton.
  4. I want to download a transcript of this speech and – over the course of the next year – see how many of the stated/proposed items come to fruition.

After the speech, I took the Hand of Nefer-Tem on a field trip to Paragon City. I hooked up with members of my SG and we took on The Council and the Circle of Thorns. Over the course of the next couple of hours, I not only racked up the points I needed to make Security Level 39, but got about… 4.2 bubbles on the way to Level 40.

I stopped playing a little before midnight. I stretched out on the couch with the intent of watching a little TV before calling it a night. I was out in less than ten minutes. I’d be willing to bet that it wasn’t even five minutes.

Next thing I know, it was 5:00 AM.
I stretched… and nodded off again.

Phone alarm. 6:15. Ignored.

I finally managed to leave the gates of The Dreaming at 8:00. I got up and started the day.

I headed to the SLC office to take care of a few things. Then on to the AF office… and the gym. Today’s workout was good (but a little short):

  • Bench press: 3 sets/8 reps (2 sets @ 205 lbs; 1 set/7 reps @ 205 lbs, 3 reps @ 185 lbs)
  • Rows (cable): 3 sets/12 reps @ 120 lbs
  • Shoulder press (seated, dumbbell): 3 sets/12 reps @ 40 lbs
  • Bent-over row: 3 sets/10 reps per arm @ 35 lbs
  • Curls (cable): 3 sets/10 reps @ 50 lbs

And, when I did my weigh-out: 169.4 lbs, which is down from Thursday’s 169.8. I’m not necessarily trying to hit 170 lbs, but I won’t cry if I do.

The Best: I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Gladys Knight & The Pips vs. Marvin Gaye vs. Creedence Clearwater Revival vs. The California Raisins.

The song was originally performed by Gladys Knight and, shortly thereafter, by Marvin Gaye and in the nineties, it was used by the California Raisin Advisory Board (no, I didn’t make that up) to promote… well, if I really have to tell you what it was for, you should just turn off the computer now. Seriously.

In my book, it comes down like this:

  1. Marvin Gaye
  2. Gladys Knight & The Pips
  3. The California Raisins
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival

I don’t really have anything against CCR, but I don’t particularly care for their cover of this song… hence, the Raisins knocking them out of the Number Three spot.
Stray Toasters


“They’ve given you a number… and taken away your name.”

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"They've given you a number... and taken away your name."

Monday – 22 October 2007
Another week begins. So far, it’s been good (despite a road monkey on the AF commute)… and it’s a short work week, so I’m not about to complain.

Saturday night, I finished watching Renaissance. It was good. I liked the feel and style of the movie. And I was pleased with the way it wound up; I was a little surprised by part of the ending, but in thinking about it – it made sense. I give the movie a thumbs-up with an okay.

Then, it was off to breakfast with the usual suspects… plus one: put in an appearance.

Sunday, SaraRules and I went to Temple Square to see Music and the Spoken Word – she plays cello, as does my coworker who performs with the Orchestra at Temple Square, so I figured it would be a “best of both worlds” kind of thing. So… off to the Conference Center we went. There were tons of people – far more than usual – also heading to the Conference Center. Odd, but I figured “Whatever…” When we got inside, they were handing out tickets for “Multi-Stake Conference.”

*blink blink*
Okay… definitely not what we’d gone for.

We decided to beat feet and make our way out. The problem: All of the primary entrances were being used for just that: Entrances. (After all, who would possibly want to leave when you could get a little bit o’ Jesus in your day?) So, we found an elevator bay that led to the parking garage and went out that way. Then we made our way against the tide of humanity back to the car. Along the way, we found a crosswalk that had a stone benches in the middle of the street. In case you got tired halfway across? *shrug* Who knows?

All gussied up and with no particular place to go, we realized that we were hungry. I checked the time and figured that Ruth’s Diner was going to be filling up with patrons. So, rather than sit and wait, I pointed the car to I-80 East. Park City. Cisero’s. Brunch. The food was good, as usual. And the drive, there and back, was nice.

Back to Salt Lake and on to the Capitol Theatre to see The Flying Dutchman. I enjoyed production. I was even able to restrain myself from making untoward comments to the lady who sat behind me and kept kicking the back of my seat throughout the performance. I was rather proud of myself.

From there, we headed to Sara’s parents for dinner and football. We watched the Broncos whale the tar out of the Steelers. I’m not really a Denver fan, but any team that plays the Steelers is my “favorite team” in that match-up.

Football Update

  • The Ravens dropped a game to the Bills. Bah. *shakes fist*
  • The Raiders lost to Kansas City.
  • The Bengals beat the Jets.
  • The Browns had a bye week.
  • The Vikings got branded by the Cowboys.
  • The Eagles lost to da Bears.

The Best: Come Together – Round 2
I put The Beatles up against Aerosmith in this match-up.

I picked up a copy of Across the Universe: Music from the Motion Picture a few days ago. I’m sorry, but Joe Cocker, singing an arrangement by Elliot Goldenthal, kicks the bejeezus out of both versions. Don’t believe it? Listen to it (unfortunately, it’s audio only – which is a shame, because the video portion of this kicks much grass) and tell me what you think.

Stray Toasters

And that’s that.


“Monday, Monday…”

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"Monday, Monday..."

Monday – 15 October 2007
And so, another week begins.

Last night, I tried making the jamabalaya recipe that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. , it’s pretty good; I don’t remember whether I sent you the recipe, so let me know if you’re interested in trying it. Sara and I watched the Seattle SeaChickens take on the N’Awleen’s Saints. When it was all said and done, the Saints went marching in with a win. Post-football, we watched Shadow of the Vampire, a movie that I’ve owned for at least two years, but never got around to watching. That’s a pity, because it was good. It also made me want to see Nosferatu.

The extended commute wasn’t bad. The presence of Utah Highway Patrol’s finest was minimal, but noticeable. And, there weren’t too many monkeys on the road… until I got to Utah County again, go figure.

And… Happy Hatching Day to

…and also to

The Best: Kiss Me Deadly
Lita Ford vs. Reel Big Fish

Friday, on the way to Cedar City, the Reel Big Fish version of the song made its way into the musical rotation.
On this morning’s commute, the Lita Ford version of the song played.

I like both versions, but the harder-edged, 80s rock sound of Lita Ford wins.

Stray Toasters


TCP/IP. Whoop-de-damn-doo.


Non-sequiturial Guinea

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Non-sequiturial Guinea

The Best: Under the Boardwalk
The Drifters vs. Bruce Willis with The Drifters vs. Rockapella with True Image

The Drifters.  No contest.

However… there is one version that I didn’t list that always brings a smile to my face: This one.  I just wish that I could find a video of it.

Stray Toasters

Back to it.

“Trick of light, moving picture, moment caught in flight…”

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"Trick of light, moving picture, moment caught in flight..."

Monday: Coda / Tuesday – 18 September 2007
Tonight, I got to play “Favorite Uncle” to the kids while Kate and Perry took care of a couple of things. The kids were finishing dinner when I got there, so they were ready for a little play time before bed. Aside from using my lap as an occasional playspace, they pretty much entertained themselves.

About an hour before bed, I sat them down for some quiet time while they watched cartoons. Then, the boys decided they wanted to watch Doctor Strange before bed… so I let them watch it, with the understanding that when it was time for bed, they’d have to turn it off and go to bed. So, popcorn was popped and they sat down and watched the movie. If someone had been watching through a window, it would have looked as though the two youngest had tried to attach themselves to my hip: The baby was on my left, feeding herself and handing me kernels of popcorn when I was taking too long to get them myself; the middle child was on my right, half-watching the movie, half-trying to feed me popcorn, too. And now that I think about it, the oldest was hovering pretty close, too.

When it was time for bed, they went to their respective rooms and got into bed. No fuss. Even the baby – She ran into her room, made a bee-line for the crib, asked for one of her dolls and laid down. Just like that. I tucked them in, closed their doors and didn’t hear a peep from them for the rest of the evening.

When Kate and Perry got home, Kate asked if I “…survived the kids alright?” I told her that as far as babysitting gigs went, this was cake. The kids took care of themselves (with the exception of one pre-bed diaper change, for the baby) and were great all night long.

The Best: Killing Me Softly (prompted by post from )
Roberta Flack vs. The Fugees

While I like the up-tempo groove of The Fugees’ cover, for my money, this song is best as done by Roberta Flack. No contest.

The Best: I Can’t Make You Love Me
Bonnie Raitt vs. Prince vs. George Michael

This one was pretty close. Sara and I were listening to Prince’s Emancipation this weekend and his cover of the song started playing. I asked if she had heard the George Michael version of it; she hadn’t. Fortunately, I had Nomad with me (A road trip without my trusty iPod?! Unheard of!) and played it.

Both covers are good… but for me, this round goes to Bonnie Raitt. There’s something that sounds more emotionally charged in her version, although I’d say that the Prince version runs a not-too-distant second.

Stray Toasters

  • I posted the pictures from this weekend’s Cedar Breaks hike. (Apologies to those on dial-up connections…)
  • , what’s this about Maoists quitting the Nepalese government?
  • For some reason, I just had the thought of a wheelbarrow race pop into my head.
  • Jamie McKelvie talks Suburban Glamor
  • By way of : LOLthulu
  • This sounds like an interesting idea, but “Lemon-squeezin’ Jesus” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. I think I’ll stick with monkey-squeezin’ Jesus, thank ya kindly.
  • Hmm… Monkey-squeezin’ Jesus vs. Micro-Jesus. That could be interesting.
  • Rare Timothy Leary document on eBay
  • …speaking of which: I was in a chat/conference/speech with Timothy Leary waaaay back in the days of Quantum Link – the service that eventually became the AOHell behemoth.

I should try that “sleep” thing.